Is the Peace Corps considering domestic (US) assignments?
March 27, 2014 1:03 PM   Subscribe

I've heard a couple of times now that the Peace Corps may start developing programs/sending volunteers to hard-hit places in the US, that are the functional equivalent of third-world countries. There's (unsurprisingly) nothing of the sort on their website, but I think it's a great idea, if it could be done in a way that did not offend the pride of the state in question. Does anyone have information as to whether this is an actual proposal?
posted by mmiddle to Law & Government (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
The Peace Corps' mission isn't "help whoever needs help". It was implicitly started in order to create stronger diplomatic relationships with developing/post-colonial/global-south countries. So I don't know how or why they would branch out into domestic aid work.

Also, don't Americorps, City Year, and Teach For America already do this? I doubt that "offending the pride" of the various states where these groups operate is a factor.
posted by Sara C. at 1:10 PM on March 27, 2014 [4 favorites]

Best answer: Just making sure you know that the Corporation for National and Community Service does do the functional equivalent of this through the Americorps/SeniorCorps programs. This used to be VISTA in the 60s and was incorporated into AmeriCorps in the 90s. Do you mean something that is different than this? These organizations do a lot of anti-poverty work (where work is more like direct service and not anti-poverty political work) and are considered to be the domestic version of the Peace Corps. If this is not what you're referring to, could you specifiy?
posted by jessamyn at 1:11 PM on March 27, 2014 [4 favorites]

Response by poster: Thanks! that is probably what my source was referring to.
posted by mmiddle at 1:16 PM on March 27, 2014

Agree that you're thinking of Americorps.
posted by radioamy at 1:53 PM on March 27, 2014

I'd like to note that Americorps is a pretty diverse program, not limited to hard-hit places in the US. Check the drop-downs on the right-hand side of the page, where you can see the interests ranging from economic development and homeland security to community outreach and technology, plus the option to select any state as a desired place to serve.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:40 PM on March 27, 2014

I'm currently serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA and would be happy to answer any specific questions. Just shoot me a MeMail.
posted by youcancallmeal at 2:59 PM on March 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

It seems like AmeriCorps is only interested in or beneficial for people between 18 and 24. I would be interested in signing up, but I'm 33. Are there any AmeriCorps opportunities for people my age?
posted by Fister Roboto at 3:32 PM on March 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

Fun fact: the Peace Corps did provide domestic aid after Hurricane Katrina.
posted by thesnowyslaps at 3:35 PM on March 27, 2014 [2 favorites]

I've worked in several capacities as an Americorps, both VISTA and non-VISTA and would be happy to answer questions as well. In the most interesting part of my job I was deployed from Montana to New York City to respond to Hurricane Sandy. I ended up working in/with both the Office of Emergency Management and FEMA. It was an amazing experience, and something I never could have predicted would happen when I signed up to lead a trail crew in Idaho for a season.
posted by Polyhymnia at 4:02 PM on March 27, 2014

Fister Roboto, NCCC is actually the only directly Americorps program that has hard and fast age limits, and you can still apply to be a leader if you're over 24. Some Americorps-funded programs have age limits, but there are plenty that don't. VISTA has no age limit, but does require a college degree. That said, participation does tend to skew towards the early twenties, though this varies more in the various AmeriCorps State programs. (AmeriCorps is vast, labyrinthine, and a land of many contrasts. It can be really confusing how all of the pieces fit together, feel free to ask questions if needed.)
posted by Polyhymnia at 4:05 PM on March 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

I'm 33. Are there any AmeriCorps opportunities for people my age?

Absolutely. I was an AmeriCorps person in rural Vermont (in a job that eventually became my real part-time job) at the age of 38. It may have been a VISTA program but there are a lot of different opportunities that are for people of a variety of age ranges.
posted by jessamyn at 6:31 PM on March 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

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